Help me help my friend with a better solar panel

soylentgreensoylentgreen Solar Expert Posts: 106 ✭✭
My buddy (who bought my old camper van from me) is saddled with a cheap-ass solar PV system. What idiot designed and installed this? (ahem!)

It's a SunForce 15 watt panel which measures about 38 x 13 and delivers (at best) 15 watts, or about .030 watts per square inch.

Technology has moved on, and I'd like to surprise him with a gift of a better panel (or set of panels).

The trick is, it has to fit in the same space (38 x 13 inches, which is the inside space on the luggage rack on an 1985 VW Vanagon).

Can we do better?

The existing charge controller is a PWM version, so I think it'd be best if we could parallel (rather than serial) multiple 12V panels.

Any ideas?


  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 5,365 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Help me help my friend with a better solar panel

    I sent you a link to a 20 watt panel that might work with 2 of them if you could go 14" by 38". If I were hunting I would look for 20 watt panels that you could pair to fill the space. More likely to work that way than to find a long skinny 40 watt panel.
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Prosine 1800 and Exeltech 1100, 660 ah 24v ForkLift battery. Off grid for @16 of last 17 years. Assorted other systems, and to many panels in the closet to not do
  • verdigoverdigo Solar Expert Posts: 428 ✭✭
    Re: Help me help my friend with a better solar panel

    Here is a link at Go Westy. Says they are out of stock but maybe they will tell you where to get the panel. 80 watts and fits the luggage rack. Wish I still had my Westy. I currently have a 71 fixer upper though.
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